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Full text of "The Fate Of Man In The Modern World"

DEHUMANIZATION                         47

"economic freedom," an order which made
every man a wolf to his fellows. This is to say
that liberty in social life is a paradox, that it easily
transposes into its opposite and becomes dis-
torted into a conditional falsehood. Modern
movements under the sign of the crisis of liberty
feel this very keenly. The socialists have all
along criticized the formal liberty of liberal
democracy, refusing to accept it as a true guarantee
of freedom for the labouring class. Modern
tendencies, even those quite hostile to Socialism,
have borrowed very much from it, without
acknowledgement. In the liberal democratic states
we see the development of a thirst for gain, the
worship of the golden calf, dishonesty and the
acceptance of bribes. In the dictatorial states,
fascist or communist, there is a development of
thirst for power and violence, a desire for blood-
shed and cruelty.

This crisis and decadence of liberty, so char-
acteristic of our epoch, puts to social philosophy
the question of liberty on a new and more funda-
mental level. But people who are carried along
on the currents of our time are not conscious of
this new face on the problem. It has not been
recognized, either, by those who once considered
themselves the defenders of liberty. The real
meaning of liberty is absent from both sides of
the present conflict between aging Liberalism and